Phytec Develops Three PhyCore Modules – i.MX8, i.MX8M, and iMX8X, Driven By Linux

Phytec has updated their product pages for three new PhyCore modules, all of which support Linux. The three modules, which employ three different flavors of i.MX8 SOC is phyCORE-i.MX 8Xi.MX 8M, and i.MX 8 SBCs. The PhyCore COMs are based on NXP’s Cortex-A53 based i.MX8M, its -A53 and -A72 equipped i.MX8 Quad, and its -A35 based i.MX8X.

phyCore-i.MX 8X

phyCORE-i.MX 8X module
phyCORE-i.MX 8X module

The i.MX8X SoC found on the phyCORE-i.MX 8X module. This board focuses on industrial IoT applications. i.MX8X includes up to 4x cores that comply with Arm’s Cortex-A35.

The i.MX8X SoC is further equipped with a single Cortex-M4 microcontroller, a Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP, and a multi-format VPU that supports up to 4K playback and HD encoding.

There’s no onboard wireless support, but support for dual GbE controllers (1x onboard, 1x RGMII) are available. There are MIPI-CSI and parallel camera interfaces, as well as ESAI based audio.

phyCore-i.MX 8M

phyCORE-i.MX 8M module
phyCORE-i.MX 8M module

The phyCORE-i.MX 8M supports the NXP i.MX8M Quad and QuadLite, both with 4x Cortex-A53 cores, as well as the dual-core Dual. All are clocked to 1.5GHz. They all have 266MHz Cortex-M4F cores and Vivante GC7000Lite GPUs, but only the Quad and Dual models support 4Kp60, H.265, and VP9 video capabilities.

In addition to the i.MX8M SoC, which offers “128 KB + 32 KB” RAM, the module ships with the same memory features as the phyCore-i.MX 8X except that it lacks the SPI flash. Once again, you get 512MB to 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and either 128MB to 1GB NAND flash or 4GB to 128GB eMMC. This 3.3V module supports an RTC, watchdog, and tamper protection.

phyCore-i.MX 8

phyCORE-i.MX 8 module
phyCORE-i.MX 8 module

The phyCORE-i.MX 8, is ideal for image and speech recognition. It is the third module to support NXP’s top-of-the-line, 64-bit i.MX8 series. The module supports all three flavors of i.MX8 while the other two COMs we’ve seen have been limited to the high-end QuadMax: Toradex’s Apalis iMX8 and iWave’s iW-RainboW-G27M.

i.MX8 QuadMax features dual high-end Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 1.6GHz plus four Cortex-A53 cores. The i.MX8 QuadPlus design is the same, but with only one Cortex-A72 core, and the quad has no -A72 cores.

The 73 x 45mm phyCORE-i.MX 8 supports up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM. Like the phyCORE-i.MX 8X, the module provides 64MB to 256MB of Micron Octal SPI/DualSPI flash. There’s no NAND option, but you get 4GB to 128GB eMMC.

More information may be found in Phytec’s phyCORE-i.MX 8XphyCORE-i.MX 8M, and phyCORE-i.MX 8 product pages as well as the phyBoard-Polaris SBC product page.

PICO316 – The New Pico-ITX SBC Powered By Intel Apollo Lake Processors

Axiomtek, a Taiwan based company has introduced new Pico-ITX form factor SBCs using Intel’s Apollo Lake processor. This line of SBCs from Axiomtek started with PICO312 with minimal coastline ports, and then followed with a COM-like PICO313. Recently they launched a similar 100 x 72mm PICO316 SBC with more versatile ports than the original PICO312.

 

PICO316 SBC front side
PICO316 SBC front side
PICO316 SBC back side
PICO316 SBC backside

This PICO316 SBC is powered by Intel Pentium N4200 or Intel Celeron N3350 with Intel Gen9 Graphics. It supports up to 8GB DDR3L-1867 RAM. The SBC is compatible with most popular Linux kernels, such as RedhatFedoraUbuntu also runs Windows as well. The IoT focused board also supports Axiomtek’s exclusive device monitoring and remote management software, AXView 2.0.

While the PICO312 and PICO313 were restricted to a single USB 2.0 interface, the PICO316 upgrades to pack three USB 3.0 ports, two of which are Type-C ports. Like the PICO312, the PICO316 has an HDMI port to enhance the LVDS interface. As an extra feature PICO316 provides dual RS-232 interfaces. On the other hand, the new PICO316 loses the previously available DIO and half-size mini-PCIe interfaces found on the PICO313, as well as the pair of general expansion connectors found on both of the earlier models.

The PICO316 is further provided with a SATA III interface, a GbE port,  a full-size mini-PCIe slot with mSATA, an audio out jack, I2C, SMBus, and a watchdog. It runs on 5V, and it adds a -20°C to 70°C option in addition to the standard -20°C to 60°C.

Key Specifications for Axiomtek PICO316:

  • Processor: Intel Pentium N4200 or Intel Celeron N3350 (2.5GHz or 2.4GHz burst)
  • Graphics: Intel Gen9 Graphics
  • Memory: up to 8GB DDR3L-1867 via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage: SATA-600; mSATA via mini-PCIe
  • Display: HDMI port; 18/24-bit single/dual channel LVDS
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O Ports:
  • USB 3.0 host port
  • 2x USB 3.0 Type-C ports
  • 2x USB interfaces
  • 2x RS232 interfaces
  • HD audio line-out jack
  • I2C, SMBus
  • Other features: watchdog, heatsink; an optional heat spreader
  • Operating temperature: -20 to 60°C or optional -20 to 70°C
  • Power: 5VDC input jack and 2x 2-pin connectors; Lithium 3V/220mAH battery; optional 5V/8A 40W adapter, 4-pin plug w/ lock
  • Dimensions: 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • Operating system: Linux (Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu); Windows

The pricing and availability information may be found on Axiomtek’s PICO316 product page.

1W regulated SMT DC/DC converter can be used in alternative energy

Expanding its range of embedded-core DC/DC converters, Murata Power Solutions adds the NXF1 series of regulated, high isolation converter with 3.3 or 5.0V outputs. Inputs available are nominal 3.3 and 5.0V in an industry-standard, surface-mount package with a low profile of 5.1mm. Line regulation is typically better than 0.03 per cent and load regulation is typically better than 0.5 per cent. All parts have continuous short circuit protection with auto re-start or latch-off depending on model and temperature. Input range is ± five per cent around the nominals of 3.3 and 5.0V.

Parts are 100 per cent production tested to 3.0kV DC and have agency recognition pending for ‘basic’ protection at 250V rms and ‘reinforced’ protection at 125V rms to UL60950. Medical recognition to ANSI/AAMI ES 60601-1 is also pending for two MOOPs (means of operator protection) and one MOPP (means of patient protection) at 125V rms and one MOOP based upon a working voltage of 250V rms max, between primary and secondary.

Typical applications are in systems where agency-recognised isolation is required with tight output regulation as is needed in power for remote pressure, hall-effect, mass airflow and other sensors. Markets addressed include alternative energy/solar power, transportation, telecomms/wireless equipment and medical.

The NXF1 series is rated at -40 to +105 degrees C with derating depending on model.

Packaging is the industry-standard footprint for SMT 1W converters in the Murata proprietary iLGA inspectable format with gold plated terminations. Parts are compatible with Pb-free soldering and backwards-compatible with Sn/Pb systems. They can be mounted in accordance with J-STD-020 with a classification temperature of 260 degrees C and Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) 2.

www.murata.com

4 Channel Relay Shield for Arduino UNO

4 Channel Relay Shield for Arduino UNO is a simple and convenient way to interface 4 relays for switching applications in your project. Very compact design that can fit on top of Arduino UNO. Project requires 12V DC supply, all 4 trigger inputs require TTL signal, Relay-1 to Relay-4 inputs connected to D8 To D11 of Arduino digital pins through solder jumpers J1 To J4. All trigger inputs can be connected to other I/O pins of Arduino using female header connectors and you will need to open solder jumpers J1-J4 in this case.  D1, D2, D3, D4 LEDs provided to indicate the Relay ON/OFF status. D5 is Power LED. Each relay has 3 pin screw terminals with normally open/normally closed switch to connect the load. Project is ideally used for low voltage applications and requires extra care in case of using high voltage AC switching.

Features

  • Input supply 12 VDC @ 170 mA ( Arduino DC Jack)
  • Output four SPDT relay
  • Relay specification 7A/24V DC-230V AC
  • Trigger level 2 ~ 5 VDC
  • Header Connector for connecting power and trigger voltage
  • Solder Jumpers J1, J2, J3, J4 Interface Arduino Pins D8, D9, D10, D11
  • LED on each channel indicates relay status
  • Power Battery Terminal (PBT) for easy relay output
  • PCB Dimensions 68.37MM x 51.91 MM

4 Channel Relay Shield for Arduino UNO – [Link]

Arduino Real Time Clock with Temperature Monitor

Hi guys, in one of our previous tutorials, we built a real-time clock with temperature monitor using the DS3231 and the 16×2 LCD display shield. Today, we will build an upgrade to that project by replacing the 16×2 LCD display with an ST7735 based 1.8″ colored TFT display.

Apart from changing the display, we will also upgrade the features of the project by displaying the highest and lowest temperature that has been measured over time. This feature could be useful in scenarios where there is a need to measure the maximum and minimum temperature experienced in a place over a particular time range.

This tutorial is based on the ability and features of the DS3231 RTC module. The DS3231 is a low power RTC chip, it has the ability to keep time with incredible accuracy such that even after power has been disconnected from your project, it can still run for years on a connected coin cell battery. Asides from its ability to accurately keep time, this module also comes with an accurate temperature sensor which will be used to obtain temperature readings during this tutorial.

Arduino Real Time Clock with Temperature Monitor – [Link]

Artila M-X6ULL is a Linux-ready Cortex-A7 SoM with a Real Time patch

Artila Electronics, a professional in development and manufacture of ARM-based embedded Linux systems, has released a SODIMM module M-X6ULL based on NXP i.MX6ULL processor family. The new M-X6ULL is designed to meet the needs of many general embedded applications that require power efficient, high performance and cost optimized solution, as well as embedded systems that require high-end multimedia applications in a small form factor.

Artila’s “M-X6ULL
Artila’s M-X6ULL

The i.MX 6ULL is a power efficient and cost-optimized processor family featuring an advanced implementation of a single Arm® Cortex®-A7 core, that can operate at speeds up to 900 MHz. The i.MX 6ULL application processor includes an integrated power management module that reduces the complexity of an external power supply and simplifies power sequencing. Each processor in this family provides various memory interfaces, including 16-bit LPDDR2, DDR3, DDR3L, raw and managed NAND flash, NOR flash, eMMC, Quad SPI and a wide range of other interfaces for connecting peripherals such as WLAN, Bluetooth®, GPS, displays and camera sensors.

The Artila NXP i.MX 6ULL is clocked up to 800MHz and is Linux ready. The module is notable for offering Linux 4.14 with the PREEMPT_RT real-time patch which could make the module find applications in areas that needs real-time interaction. The SODIMM styled ultra-compact module measures only 68 x 42mm. The module provides support for interfaces like CAN, UART, USB, SD, LCD, GPIO, SD, Ethernet, and some others which are accessible through the module’s 200-pin expansion connector. The module ships with 512MB of DDR4 RAM, a 4GB onboard eMMC, and a 16MB NOR flash. It provides one 24bits digital parallel display interface that supports max 85MHz display clock and up to WXGA (1366 x 768) at 60Hz, a touch controller that can support 4-wire and 5-wire resistive touch panel. The module is 5V rated and consumes about 0.75 Watts.

Artila provides software packages such as PHP, Python, Perl, Node.js, and Node-RED which are available for free and the Linux BSP includes GCC 6.2.x + glibc 2.24, U-Boot, X11 GUI engine, and more. These software packages can be updated through the Artila repository by issuing the standard Linux apt-get command. The module can be booted either from the onboard eMMC or an external SD card.

Just like every other SoM board maker, Artila is providing an optional M-X6ULL starter kit to go with the module. The starter kit expands out the module microSD slot, dual Fast Ethernet ports, a USB2.0 host port, and micro-USB ports. The kit is further equipped with a 24-bit LVDS interface with resistive touch support and an audio output jack.

The specification for the starter kit is shown below:

i-MX6ULL Starter Kit Specification

The major target applications of this module are Industrial HMI & Access Control, IOT gateway, Industrial control & automation and Test and measurement. Attila’s M-X6ULL SoM is available for order but the price is not disclosed yet.

The Orange Pi 4G IoT Board is the Most Advanced Orange Pi Board

Orange Pi has been known for its several Raspberry Pi board clones and now has launched a better IoT focused board – Orange Pi 4G IoT. The Shenzhen based company, Xulong has gone through different modifications and even as at last year released a low-cost 2G based board – The Orange Pi 2G IoT board that cost just $9.90. However, recent trends have been gearing towards 4G technology, and some countries like Australia are already outfacing the old 2G networks.

Orange Pi 4G IoT Board

Therefore, it did not come as a big shock when the company released a 4G board recently. But it is clear that Shenzhen Xulong outdid itself as the board has a lot interesting and advanced features such as its 4G LTE module, fingerprint sensor support, WiFi, GPS and many more. The Orange Pi 4G IoT board is the most advanced Orange Pi board till date. Like many other Orange Pi boards, the Orange Pi 4G – IoT has a Raspberry Pi like footprint which measurements are 85mm × 55mm and a 40 – pin expansion header.

At the heart of the Orange Pi 4G IoT board is the MediaTek MT6737 SoC. The MediaTek SoC is a 64bit Quad-core, Cortex-A53 and clocked from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz. There’s also a high-end, up to 650MHz Mali-T720 MP1 GPU with the SoC.

The Orange Pi 4G – IoT Single Board Computer (SBC) runs Andriod 6.0 has a 4G LTE radio module with a mini-SIM card slot, a fingerprint sensor support and a combo module that includes WiFi, FM, GPS, and Bluetooth. There’s also a mic and an earphone jack. The board has a PRX receiver which could be a potential source for the fingerprint reader or a proximity sensor module. The Orange Pi 4G-IOT also includes a three USB 2.0 OTG host ports, a micro-USB port, and an IR receiver.

The below are specifications of the Orange Pi 4G board:

  • Processor —
    • MediaTek MT6737 (4x Cortex-A53)
    • Mali-T720 MP1 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB of DDR3
    • 8GB of eMMC
    • MicroSD slot with hot-plug support
  • Display/Media:
    • HDMI port for HD resolution
    • LCD interface with capacitive touch support
    • 13-megapixel camera interface (25-pin ZIF)
    • 3.5mm earphone UI/O audio jack
    • Mic
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS combo module
    • 4G LTE module (FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B7/B17/B20; TDD-LTE B38/B40/B41B; GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA B1-B8,
    • Mini-SIM card slot
    • Diversity receiving part (antenna connector)
    • Antennas (may be optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB OTG host ports
    • Micro-USB port (only for writing image)
    • 40-pin expansion header (2x UART, 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 1.8V)
  • Other features — IR receiver; 2x LEDs; PRX receiver for attaching fingerprint reader
  • Power — 5V 2A input; power button; battery supported
  • Weight — 42.5 g
  • Dimensions — 85 x 55mm
  • Operating system — Android 6.0 with C, C++, Kotlin, Java, Shell, and Python support

Although the Orange Pi 4G IoT board is not listed on the Orange Pi website and has no official product page or wiki page, it is surprisingly available for purchase on Aliexpress and costs only $45.

Tiny Graphics Library for ATtiny85 and SH1106 OLED Display

David Johnson-Davies published another great tutorial on how to use the Tiny Graphics Library to plot the outside temperature over 24 hours on a 128×64 OLED display using an ATtiny85.

This small graphics library provides point, line, and character plotting commands for use with an I2C 128×64 OLED display on an ATtiny85.

It supports processors with limited RAM by avoiding the need for a display buffer, and works with I2C OLED displays based on the SH1106 driver chip. These are available for a few dollars from a number of Chinese suppliers.

To demonstrate the graphics library I’ve written a simple application to measure the temperature every 15 minutes over a 24-hour period and display it as a live chart.

Tiny Graphics Library for ATtiny85 – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Arduino Yùn Rev.2 is here!

Arduino just announced a new Yun v2 Board with improvements over the older brother. From the Arduino blog:

What’s New in Rev.2

Hardware:

  • Much better, more robust power supply
  • New Ethernet connector with a clever mounting solution that enables the use of all possible shields with no risk for accidental short circuits
  • Horizontal USB connector to save vertical space
  • Improved USB hub

Software:

  • Software stack updated to OpenWRT latest version, including all patches
  • SSL support on the bridge Arduino / Linux bridge

Arduino Yùn Rev.2 is here! – [Link]

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